Awal pertemuan dalam pembelajaran adalah kunci kesuksesan, mengapa tidak?
Pandangan pertama sangat mengesankan adalah modal awal dalam setiap pertemuan, setelah itu proses dan frekuensi yang berperan dalam menilai apakah kegiatan selama pertemuan itu baik atau tidak. Tidak dapat dipungkiri pertemuan diakhir kegiatan juga sangatlah menentukan kwalitas dari kegiatan tersebut.
Berikut saya utarakan beberapa tips untuk guru bagaimana mempersiapkan, memulai proses pembelajaran, dan mengakhirinya bahkan sampai pada tahap evaluasi. Tips tersebut sengaja disampaikan dalam bahasa aslinya, karena khawatir bila salah menafsirkan.
NCTM’s Tips for Teachers
- Be Consistent
Students tend to remember better when the rules remain the same and are enforced equally.
- Create Problem Solvers
Start your class with a set of question and riddles that promote logical thinking. Allow students to work in small groups and emphasize that they should be discussing solution strategies and HOW they get their answers. This lets students know your classroom is a place where communication and collaboration is encouraged.
- Who’s Doing the Math?
Be mindful of who is actually doing the mathematics in the classroom. The students should be doing their share of the thinking, explaining, and reasoning. Give students a chance to struggle/wrestle with some math everyday! Suggesting a solution strategy too quickly doesn’t give students a chance to solve problems.
- Talk with Colleagues
Try to meet weekly with a group of fellow teachers to discuss teaching strategies, share classroom-management techniques, and brainstorm ways to offer more opportunities for students. Maybe prepare a monthly newsletter for parents.
- Don’t Jump to Conclusions
Regardless of past experiences, try to give each student a clean slate to work from. If there is a student that you are particularly worried about, try giving them responsibilities from the start. Have them hand out papers, erase the chalkboard or collect papers from their classmates.
- Engage Them
Let them know about something interesting that you did over the summer and encourage them to share their experiences. This can really help in creating a healthy classroom environment. Consider giving them the chance, as a class, to ask you 5 questions about yourself. Reserve the right to not answer if you feel it is an inappropriate question. This lets your students know you are open to communicating with them about things other than school.
- Learn Student’s Names Quickly
When taking roll for the first time, read each student’s last name only. Tell the students to respond with the first name they prefer to be called. One year’s William can become Bill the next. A seating chart can be helpful during the first few weeks.
- Use Questions
Make your classroom a safe place to ask and answer questions. Try using students’ questions to drive your lesson with students working to answer each other’s questions.
Communicating with Parents
NCTM’s Tips for Teachers
- Make the first step positive. Take note of something positive about each of your students within the first week of school. Then, call their parents and say, “Hi! I’m Mr./Mrs. _____, your child’s teacher. Your son/daughter did _ (insert good thing here)_ in class today, and I wanted you to know.” Follow up by telling them how to reach you if they ever have questions, and that you look forward to meeting them and working together to help their child succeed.
- Give parents your school phone number rather than your home phone number.
- Create a separate e-mail account (Yahoo, Hotmail, and others allow you to do this for free) for use with school-related business. An address like MrsSmithAlgebra@yahoo.com will make the address easy for parents to remember and for you to separate school and other e-mail.
- E-mail students’ grades weekly to their parents, and maintain a web page filled with information for both parents and students.
- Have parents e-mail you. Assign students homework to have their parent/guardian fill out an information form asking for contact information including an e-mail address. Award a bonus point if they also send you an e-mail with their child’s name and class period in the subject line—then you can just move the reply to the appropriate folder in your e-mail program.
- Send a postcard. Have the students create their own mathematical collage postcard on a note card (if you put two cards together with the collage facing out, it runs through the laminator and comes out nicely). Then send it home with a positive comment on it sometime during the year.
- Send a parent newsletter or e-newsletter to communicate the mathematical goals that you have set for students and the ways in which you are helping students reach those goals.
- Host a family math night. Create an opportunity for students to shine and parents to share in the mathematical experiences that their children are receiving in your classroom.
- Recruit parent volunteers to serve as tutors, guest speakers, and general classroom helpers.
NCTM’s Tips for Teachers
- Only assign what’s necessary to augment instruction. If you can get sufficient information by assigning only five problems, then don’t assign fifty.
- Focus on practice and review. Give students a chance to try new material, further practice skills they have recently learned, and review something they already know.
- Take students’ age into consideration when determining the amount of homework to assign. Recommendations from “Helping Your Students With Homework: A Guide for Teachers,” published by the U.S. Department of Education, lists the following:
- Grades 1-3: up to 20 minutes a night
- Grades 4-6: 20-40 minutes a night
- Grades 7-9: up to 2 hours a night
- Grades 10-12: 1½- 2½ hours per night
Remember, this is a cumulative amount. If you are only one of five teachers assigning homework, you should adjust accordingly.
- Share a list of homework rules before handing out the first assignment. A written explanation of expectations will increase the likelihood that assignments are completed. Let students know that homework is important, and that not doing an assignment will have consequences, which may include lower grades.
- Let students know ahead of time when homework will be assigned. Some teachers always assign homework on specific nights—every Tuesday and Thursday, for example. This lets students and parents know when to expect homework.
- Designate a Homework Collector. Assign a student to gather the papers at the start of class while you take roll or attend to other administrative tasks.
- Have a weekly prize drawing. Students get a ticket for each homework assignment they complete, and at the end of the week, a winner is randomly chosen. (Plus, this activity can serve as the motivation for a probability lesson!)
- Employ a “While You Were Out” form for students to fill out indicating any class periods they missed. (Leave blank copies of this form in a location accessible to students.) When students return these forms, fill out the form indicating the class work, homework, or tests that students missed, and return the forms to students. When students complete the make-up work, they should attach the form. Having a system for missed work will help you with organization, and it will reduce the number of last-minute assignments turned in at report-card time.
- Give constructive feedback. Students are more apt to complete assignments and advance their learning when they get consistent and constructive feedback. Make an effort to provide written comments on student work that lets them know what they did well and what they need to improve.